Tigers keen to put week behind them
After a week of drama including a new coach being appointed, some players being courted by rival clubs and others asking for immediate releases, the Wests Tigers are glad to be out of Sydney and ready to play some football.
New coach Ivan Cleary is looking forward to seeing his team take the field against the North Queensland Cowboys on Saturday night, and many expect him to make changes at the club in the coming weeks.
"In a way it's been good to come up here and get out of Sydney," Cleary said.
"Five days in and we've got a game on Saturday and at the end of the day the performance on the weekend is the window through which everybody sees the club.
"That's what we're concentrating on and at this point the players are very focussed and preparations are going along well."
Cleary doesn't intend to waste any time in turning the club around, and is confident the last-placed Wests Tigers can win against the top-four Cowboys.
"There's opportunities every week in the NRL. For our guys right now it's about trying to improve on what they've been doing," he said.
"Hopefully this week's given them a little bit more certainty around the club, it's been a pretty tumultuous month or so before that.
"I don't know what the morale was like before, but it feels like it's pretty good to me. The boys play and they're the ones who've got to go out on Saturday night."
Saturday night will also mark the 200th game for Tigers second-row forward Chris Lawrence, and Cleary is happy that the team has a one-club player like Lawrence as an example for younger players.
"Two hundred games is a tremendous achievement for anyone in the NRL," Cleary said.
"He goes out and does his best every week. He loves his club and that's great to see.
"This is a good chance for us to celebrate his milestone and I'm sure the boys will back him up and support him throughout the game."